Candlelight 2006

Too many people seem to be caught up with the premise of how could Enslaved top last year's Isa?  I don't think they necessarily have to.  That's the problem with people, they constantly need "better" or "more" when "new" will suffice.  Anyways Enslaved doesn't top Isa for me but they have made an album that is just as strong.  Maybe a bit of an Isa part 2 with a little variation on theme.  Basically what I mean is that this album is exploring similar territory as Isa with its psychedelic/proggy black metal that has a feeling of Norwegian folk infusion.  The title track is possibly the most psychedelic song they have written so far with its eastern sort of guitar flavor.  Path to Vanir really betrays the influence Pink Floyd has on them with the calm and clean vocal section towards the end of the song.  Tides of Chaos is probably my favorite song with its hatefully spat out vocals that seem to be telling a story with the music as the tapestry to which it is woven on top giving it layers of texture.  Although it must compete with Api-Vat and its saddened opening wail.  The middle and ending of Essence, with its faster rhythms, has a feeling of older Enslaved material without really actually treading upon it but the fastest and most primitive material is found on Fusion of Sense and Earth.  Incidentally one of the best guitar solos Enslaved has ever done can be found on said track.  But I am not sure which is better that one or the one that runs through the middle of Heir to the Cosmic Seed.  The production found here is absolutely perfect.  It makes the instruments feel so clean and refreshing.  I can't really say alot about all the playing and singing etc.  It is near flawless in respect to Enslaved's style.  As a whole Ruun is a perfect companion to Isa in my ears.  I feel Ruun is a bit darker than Isa but not near as heavy and moody as Below the Lights.  It is another strong album from one of Metals more charismatic entities and will most likely find its way into my top 10 albums for the year.  Ruun is a perfect illustration of why Enslaved is one of my favorite bands.  In the end this whole album feels like I was in a murky and somber dream.